Anime Review #8: FLCL (Spoiler-Free)

Anime Title: FLCL フリクリ “Fooly Cooly”
Production Studio: Studio Gainax, Production I.G
Director: Kazuya Tsurumaki, Shouji Saeki
Composer: The Pillows
Release Date: April 2000
Episode Count: 6 + English Dub
Genres: Action, Comedy, Dementia, Mecha, Parody, Sci-Fi

Have you ever seen a show in which it is so off the walls crazy that you have no possible idea on how to explain it to anyone? Well the show ova series FLCL can be nothing short of the very definition of this question that I have brought forward.

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~Story ?/10~
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. As much as I would love to give the story category a score, I can’t muster up myself to even comprehend a score. Unlike most reviews that I have written I usually would write a short summary of the show’s plot. However due to the pure insanity and 4th wall breaking series that is this show I really have no idea on what exactly occurred in the show story wise. But what I can write about is how the show tackles a multitude of different themes over the duration of just six episodes and those themes include the following: maturity, coming of age, sex, masturbation, prostitution, divorce, family values, suicide, heaven, god, religious cults, drugs, addiction, and the list goes on. A majority of these themes were subtly shown, but was never directly mentioned in the show.

Each episode of the show tends to be split into two halves. The first half being mostly exposition and tackles the different themes that I mentioned above, all while being set up for the second half. As for the second half of the episodes, this can be nothing short of being described of action, action, action, the writers of this show are on acid, and action.

I personally have no idea of how to describe the plot line of this show, but hopefully you (whoever is reading this) will be able to form your own idea on to what this show is truly about.

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~Characters 8/10~
Naota “Takkun” Nandaba is an twelve year old boy who is the main character of the series. Naota is an angsty kid who claims that “nothing amazing happens here” whenever describing his town even tho it is complete and utter chaos. Naota practically practically worships his older brother Tasuku, and he does this by talking to his older brother’s ex-girlfriend all while also being obsessed with his brother’s baseball bat. Over the course of the series you see Naota break out of his shell and learns to grow up… mostly.

Mamimi Samejima is an seventeen year old girl who is the ex-girlfriend to Tasuku. She loves to skip class, sexually arouse Naota, smokes constantly and a cigarette saying “never knows best” on it, she is a pyromaniac and loves to worship some god named “Cantido” (which is actually just a robot thing…). Mamimi is the epitome of teenage rebellion.

Haruko “Haru” Haruhara is an nineteen year old alien girl. Haru is loud, bombastic, energetic, spoiled, unpredictable at times, and is a tomboy. She is the very reason as to why this show is so off the walls crazy. This character love to play the bass guitar and ride a yellow Vespa. I swear this girl is on acid or some really powerful substance… I just have no idea how to describe her…

There is more that I could talk about characters wise, but I have decided to leave the rest for you… the reader to discover more about these characters on your own.

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~Music 10/10~
Unlike most anime having a composer and an orchestral soundtrack, this show decided to toss all of that out of the window and decided to have a rock band by the name of “The Pillows” to write and compose the entirety of the OST. This choice of having a band do everything works effectively for the show. Each of the songs never overpower the scene, but instead elevates them to a memorable level.

As for the Ending Theme, all I can say is that it random, filled with absurdity, yet still melds together to make a song that just works well… and that is exactly how the show is.

My favorite tracks from the show are as follows: Little Busters, Last Dinosaur, I Think I Can, Runners High, Advice, and the ending theme Ride On Shooting Star.

I can fully say that this show’s OST is one that has shot up into my list of favorite Anime Soundtracks.

~Art/Animation 10/10~
First off, the show’s “regular” art style is so beautiful that it still holds up today. The art style fits perfectly for the show’s outlandish nature. The animation of the series holds up very well and there is no animation errors that can be spotted.

But the main focus of this category is not about the “regular” art style, instead it is about how at certain points in the series the art style changes suddenly. Whether it be by purposely being made to look sloppy, showing manga panels as a form of the animation and tweaking them slightly so they might move back and forth, or by having the art style change to that of South Park… yeah I’m not joking. No matter what style they choose, it all works perfectly and is one extra reason as to why this show is bizarre.

4FYEcN3

~Final Thoughts~
I decided on choosing this show to review by having a poll in one of the Facebook groups that I’m in by choosing whether I should watch and review FLCL or Golden Boy. For all three of the groups that I posted the poll in, FLCL ended up being the overwhelming winner. So I decided to sit down finally and watch this show for the first time this week meanwhile knowing absolutely nothing about the show, you could say I was in for a giant surprise. I took notes for each episode as I do for nearly every review I do nowadays, some of them are serious and some are silly like “Dem eyebrows tho” and “Sporks > Chopsticks” or “this episode talked about family values and divorce”. Nevertheless no matter how many notes I took on this show there still would be so many things about this show that I didn’t understand, therefore I took to youtube in search for some reviews on there to take inspiration from. These videos included GRArkada, Gigguk, HollowOfDawn, and GoatJesus. By taking what I learned from those videos I decided to incorporate some of the ideas into this review.

I think you guys get the gist at how bizarre and out there that this show is, so taking that into account and my own enjoyment for the show and mixing it with the amount of laughs that it gave me, I have decided to give this show an 8/10. FLCL is a series that I believe everyone should watch at some point in time in their anime watching career, so go ahead and throw it onto your Plan To Watch list. I also believe this series’s English Dub is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. And the best comparison for this show that I saw someone mention was how it is the grandchild of if you mixed Neon Genesis Evangelion with Gurren Lagann.

Now for the final question of the entire show… What exactly is a Fooly Cooly?.

“I guess, Fooly Cooly is what we choose to make of it.” – Hollow of Dawn

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~Similar Anime Recommendations~
Excel Saga, Kill La Kill, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Panty & Stocking, Punchline, Space Dandy, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and for an video game recommendation of Jet Set Radio

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~Upcoming Review~
Due to me taking the ACT this next week and Spring Break starting next Saturday, I will try to post a review to another #secret Gainax series next week. But if that is not possible for me to do, then I will post another Top 10 post as compensation. In the end, I wounded up reviewing Bartender.

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Rose Regine says:

    I think this is the first review post you had a hard time deciding on the story’s rating. Is it? And that’s really cute. XD But from what I read, I think this anime is really complicated when it comes to the question “What is it trying to let the viewers know” considering the many themes you mentioned. And I don’t think I’ll be watching this although I trust your recommendation. I am not just too open for rated spg series even though I’m adult already.

    Fun review btw. You always do good reviews without spoiling things. (ᐛ)ᕗ

    Liked by 2 people

  2. crimson613 says:

    I guess the story that we see is ‘the vespa woman’ coming to free that adamisk (sp?) dude so she can take his powers for herself…and she bangs people’s heads in order to do so…? But yeah, there’s so much in this series, so much craziness, and it’s a bummer that it was only 6 episodes (though maybe that’s why it’s really great/fun). And just a bit of random, I do wish the manga were a bit cleaner so that I’d want to read it 😛

    The music is so good! I still listen to their music on occasion, don’t want to overhear and then not like it xD And the dub comment, I hadn’t really thought about it but I agree

    Ah~ I hope to buy this anime one day :3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ive heard the show is very cheap to purchase

      Liked by 1 person

      1. crimson613 says:

        I suppose if $30 for 6 episodes is cheap but I’m a tad cheaper @_@

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Side comment: i still find it hilarious how im gunna go from a high end action show to one that is so ridiculously slow paced (well for reviews wise).

        The next review i’ll release is Bartender, a cross between death parade and mushishi

        Liked by 1 person

      3. crimson613 says:

        mushishi put me to sleep once but the episodes are SO BEAUTIFUL *sigh* I need to watch it and actually get through it (esp since I own it @_@)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Mushishi, bartender, and kinos journey are all series that you can only watch maybe 3 eps a day at max.

        Also mushishi’s dub is perfection.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Matthew says:

    I remember seeing this anime a long time ago, it was weird. I wanted to do a review for this last year but I couldn’t explain. This anime was a wild ride. I really like this review. Keep it going. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the nice comment Matthew!

      Planning on making an edit to the review due to the announcement of Season 2 & 3. And give my personal input on it.

      Also if you are wondering how I responded so quickly… I get notifications on my phone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Matthew says:

        You’re welcome. I really like how you broke the anime down without spoiling it. It was very easy to understand. I heard about the announcement. I wonder how’s the story going to be like. Toonami will be involved with this one.
        I have the app of WordPress on my phone. I use it for commenting when I’m not with my laptop haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah my goal is to make every review spoiler free. Mostly for the sake of not alienating an potential reader.

        I want to introduce people to series that people may have never thought on trying, or just release a review of something that I feel passionate about talking about.

        Too bad i most likely wont be able to release a review tomorrow because I’ve been out of state for the past week… But i will try my hardest to make a review for KonoSuba, since that is what is easiest to write about currently.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Matthew says:

        Well I think you are doing a great job on it. You surely know how to talk about an anime without spoiling too much. Also, I like the recommendations. Those are definitely helpful.
        You have been out of state? Take your time on any projects you have. There’s no rush, we’re not going anywhere. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ranting Crow says:

    I love the quirky in shows, but even I was unable to go past 2 eps.

    As you mentioned, there is or was no plot. It was straight on jam packed slam dunk blow in your face action. A roller-coaster of characters insinuating all of the above themes you mentioned.

    The crazy person gone mad, loving the music and way things were drawn but bit into wooden tables hoping for some kind of story.

    Great review. And it be hard to give this show a score overall. But I most likely would not go for the other eps any time soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Arria Cross says:

    Ahahaha! The question mark on your rating made me laugh. I personally haven’t watched this yet because it didn’t sound very appealing to me, especially the blurb. Although I can’t say anything for sure since I haven’t watched it. This is a very interesting review because you gave the story an unknown rating but you gave the characters a high score.

    . . .by the way, when you said “Golden Boy”, were you talking about THAT “Golden Boy”. The lewd one?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also FLCL is a series made by Gainax, famous for making Evangelion (the team of eva made this show) and Gurren Lagann (team went on to make Studio Trigger and made shows such as Kill La Kill and the two currently airing shows “kiznaiver” and “space patrol luluco”.

      I highly suggest you check FLCL out as well as those other shows I just mentioned.

      Liked by 1 person

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